Enneagram Alive Team Favourites
An internet search on "The Enneagram" brings up millions of results, making it hard to discern which are dependable, valid, and trustworthy. Here, as an initial guide, we present some personal preferences. We make no claim to this being an exhaustive list and have no commercial interest in promoting these resources.
In my many years of working with the Enneagram both as a coach and teacher, I have found that books on other subjects besides the Enneagram can be very helpful for one's personal development and spiritual journey. For example, The Power of Modern Spirituality by William Bloom and Soul Shifts by Barbara de Angelis number amongst these. Neither of these are Enneagram books, but they both have helpful tips for the personal development/spiritual journey. In particular, they both talk about resistance and how to work with it compassionately (William Bloom’s chapter on the challenges of spiritual growth, and Barbara de Angelis on expanders and contracters). Uplifting and encouraging both!
In addition, Jeanette van Stijn has just published Coaching and Counselling to the Point (EnneaBooks 2021) which is both a reference book and a practical manual for coaches and counsellors who want to use the Enneagram in their practice
I also love David Hey The Nine dimensions of the Soul (O books 2006)
Mary Horsley The Enneagram for the Spirit - (Gaia books 2005) has less Enneagram theory than some basic level books, but integrates it beautifully with yoga and Chinese medicine-based bodywork, which is so relevant for the integrated approach to inner development which is now recognised as being so important.
I’d like to run with a personal choice here, because things I recommend to clients are largely covered in this website’s resources page.
• The Sufi Enneagram by Laleh Bakhtiar (Oct 2013) is one of the most thought-provoking and fascinating of my more recent reads: I dip into it for inspiration, rather than reading cover to cover.
• The Enneagram Guide to Waking Up: find your path, face your shadow discover you true self. Beatrice Chestnut & Uranio Paes with a foreword by Daniel Siegel. Hard copy available in the UK from late November onwards - can’t wait to explore this! I have great respect for what Bea & Uranio bring and look forward to my pre-order copy arriving.
• Enneagram Spirituality: from Compulsion to Contemplation. Susanne Zuercher. 1 Jan 1992. I came back to this recently and found new inspiration. Concise, readable, insightful.
Reflecting on my book choice here, it’s fascinating to see that much of my reading/listening and Enneagram inspiration is not drawn from Enneagram literature per se. Instead, it comes from my work with clients, in workshops, and from multiple inter-disciplinary sources, often by chance, or pure synchronicity. Just this week I loved hearing Josie Long (Radio 4s ‘Short Cuts’ series - Episode 22 ‘Storytellers’); “Even if you think the story of your life is set in stone, it isn't! You can work on some re-writes of the most important story that you have, which is, what you tell yourself your life is. And strangely, having a little bit of time to do that could lead to some really brilliant new chapters in the future.” For me, this spoke so strongly to the Enneagram theme of awareness and being awake to our narratives: put so beautifully. Enneagram inspiration is all around us!
"I probably own over thirty Enneagram books, but the three I have read many times are The Enneagram by Helen Palmer, The Essential Enneagram by David Daniels and Facets of Unity by A. H.Almaas. Helen Palmer and David Daniels both demonstrate their expertise and understanding, by make a complex topic, simple. All of their books are very useful as valid and reliable sources of information thus I used them often during my training in the Narrative Tradition. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Facets of Unity, The Enneagram of Holy Ideas is a very challenging book, I often have to read and re-read passages. Not for the beginner, but Almaas' writing allows me glimpses of our true nature.
Although I enjoy reading, my main ongoing source of Enneagram material is from podcasts which I listen to whilst walking, driving or travelling. For depth and breadth, I very much enjoy Enneagram 2.0 with Beatrice Chestnut & Uranio Paes, I never miss an episode. As two of the foremost teachers worldwide they have generously covered and shared almost every aspect of the Enneagram.
On social media I follow two accounts who have excellent moderators – Enneagram & Enneagram Openings. Both of these accounts can have on occasion stimulating and insightful discussions. I also moderate Enneagram Events, which advertises good quality courses, workshops and teaching events happening worldwide."
I dip into, enjoy and use so many different Enneagram books and resources depending on the situation. This makes it really hard to list a handful as each and every book and author brings so much individuality and insight into the many facets and topics that surround the Enneagram. But here are a few of my top candidates: "The Enneagram – Understanding Yourself and the Others in Your Life” by Helen Palmer. My first and favourite book as it was my introduction to the Enneagram and still very much a “go to” read for me. “The Enneagram Made Easy” and “Are you My Type, Am I Yours?” by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele. I love these books as they are readily understandable and full of rich content. I lend these to the people who are new to or beginning to express an interest in the Enneagram.
“Bringing out the Best in Everyone you Coach” and “What Type of Leader are You?” by Ginger Lapid-Bogda, founder of the Enneagram in Business Network. I find these books are so useful in designing and building coaching strategies/programmes for my clients at all levels in the business world.
"Coming from a Christian tradition I have found that the Enneagram has had a significant impact on my faith journey as it peels back our defence mechanism to discover more of the true self. Now I no longer work full time I am delighted to get involved with Enneagram Alive as we try to join the dots between the various Enneagram traditions within the UK in order to support and encourage each other. I am excited about what we can do together over these next few years.
Enneagram Resources I’m enjoying right now: “Principles of The Enneagram” by Karen Webb has been a great foundational book for me. “The Sacred Enneagram” by Christopher Heuertz which I am currently enjoying;“Typology” with Ian Morgan Cron: this podcast is a great resource to draw on and “The Complete Enneagram” by Beatrice Chestnut and the accompanying summary booklet “The Enneagram System’s 27 Personality Types” which I keep going back to. It helps differentiate between the different flavours of each type."